08/12/14 1:00pm

AdrianVillarSite

Nobody wants to think about it, but Labor Day is around the corner, and that means one thing: It’s time to head to the peninsula to check out the large-scale, multi-site, mostly outdoor art installation Rockaway! before it ends. This free, summer-long display celebrates the reopening of Fort Tilden, a former U.S. Army base in the Gateway National Recreation Area that sustained severe damage during Hurricane Sandy. Visitors can peruse photographs taken by punk rocker Patti Smith, a gallery dedicated to Walt Whitman that includes books of his poetry, and nest sculptures by Adrián Villar Rojas (above). Installed in several locations, these nests invite local birds to inhabit them. Other components include The Forty Piece Motet by Janet Cardiff (first photo below), a spatialized adaptation of a sacred 16th-century motet that’s in the former military chapel, and a mutli-genre collaboration with the Honolulu Biennial at the newly restored Rockaway Beach Surf Club on Beach 87th Street. Rockaway! – a collaboration between the Rockaway Artists Alliance, the Museum of Modern Art, MoMA PS1, the National Park Service, the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy, and Smith — also showcases Fort Tilden’s natural and historical beauty.

For more information on venues and times and four more photos, go to the jump page.

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06/27/14 1:00pm

rock2

It’s a multi-faceted event for a multi-purposed cause. On Saturday, the eighth annual Rockstock and Barrels Festival will fill the Rockaway peninsula with about 11 hours of live music, gnarly surfing contests, rad skateboarding exhibitions and fun beach games. There will also be art, clothing and food vendors. Last year’s extravaganza attracted about 8,000 attendees, including surfers from as far away as California and musicians from all over the United States, to an area that was still recovering from Hurricane Sandy. This year’s event should be even better and proceeds will support the Rockaway Beach Surf Club, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit that supports everything the peninsula has to offer, including the work of artists, writers, musicians and all lovers of surf and beach. 

Details: Rockstock and Barrels Festival, Boardwalk at Beach 90th Street, Rockaway Beach, June 28th, 10 am to nighttime. Free.

List of scheduled main stage performers: Matthew Kiss, 11 am; The Mourning War, noon; The Wordy Bums, 1 pm; Exit Verona, 2 pm; The King’s Heartbeat, 3 pm; Groundswell, 4 pm; Symptom 7, 5 pm; and Grim Pickens, 6 pm.

List of scheduled second stage performers: John Simonelli, 10:30 am; Ethoscope, 11:30 am; The Ready Hentchmen, 12:30 pm; The Disfunction, 1:30 pm; Rat-Trap Bumpkin, 2:30 pm; Kilzone, 3:30 pm; The Rev Jefferson, 4:30 pm; Shipwrecks, 5:30 pm; and Indaculture, 6:30 pm.

Plus, Kooly Chat will be the DJ all day long.

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05/30/14 3:00pm

Joey2

Three of the band members are dead, and the original crew hasn’t been seen together since an event at the Virgin Megastore in Times Square on July 20, 1999. Nevertheless, the Ramones are the focal point of a recently launched Queens tourism campaign. The punk legends’ song “Rockaway Beach” is part of a radio ad campaign to attract visitors to the peninsula, where businesses have been rebuilding since Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Working with the Queens Economic Development Corporation and Volunteers of Legal Service, altruists from the law firm Katten Muchin Rosenman, led by attorney Jennifer Carmen, secured the rights to the ditty, which was first released in 1977. Citi Community Development then sponsored the ads as part of a larger project to restore businesses along Beach 116th Street.

In a way, the Ramones have come full circle, as they grew up in Forest Hills and rode many waves at Rockaway Beach during their youth. Here are some lyrics from the song: Chewin’ at a rhythm on my bubble gum; The sun is out, I want some; It’s not hard, not far to reach; We can hitch a ride to Rockaway Beach. Click here to listen to one of the ads, which are currently playing on WFAN, WCBS and WINS.

Some of those seeking to boost tourism in the Rockaways gathered for a photo on Beach 116th Street on Thursday. They are (from left): Seth Bornstein, Queens Economic Development Corporation; Robert Kaskel, Thai Rock; Tom Murphy, Curran’s Superior Meats; Denise Diehm, The Gift is Love; Mark S. Mina, MSM Elite Productions; Michael Adel, Paninico Café; Krzysztof Sadlej, Beach 116th Street Partnership; Glenn DiResto, Rockaway Jet Ski; Ben Cox, Volunteers of Legal Service; Sharon Banks, Citi Rockaway Branch Manager; Edward Odom, Citi Community Development; and Michael Badalov, M & L Hair & Nail Salon.

Ramones

Top photo: Ramones FB; Bottom photo: Queens Economic Development Corporation

04/18/14 3:00pm

de-blasio-sandy

Yesterday Mayor de Blasio pledged to overhaul the city’s Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts, announcing a number of reforms to jumpstart the process. You can see the entire PDF report here or read more details from the Mayor’s office here. The reforms include ways to improve the experience of homeowners navigating the pre-construction process, expanding eligibility for acquisition and reimbursement, establishing better coordination among city, state, and federal partners, and working closely with local communities in the rebuilding efforts.

According to the Times, the Mayor hopes that the city will have started construction on 500 new homes and mailed out 500 reimbursement checks for previously performed repairs by the end of the summer. Only 30 residents received their payments so far. As Brad Gair — who worked on rebuilding efforts during Bloomberg’s term — told the Times, “Anything that helps expedite the assistance to the homeowners who are still in need, I think is very positive. The challenge really becomes how you implement and process that.”

Photo via Twitter

04/04/14 9:00am

NY1-storm-barriers-queens

NY1 got the check out proposals for Rebuild by Design, a competition responding to Hurricane Sandy by asking design professionals to envision solutions that increase resilience across the Sandy-affected region. Proposals span from Lower Manhattan to Hunt’s Point in the Bronx to Red Hook, Brooklyn. In Queens, designers proposed an elevated subway platform and commercial strip in Rockaway Park, rendered above.

The winners of the competition will be picked later this month. The winning design solutions may be able to be implemented with disaster recovery grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as other sources of public and private- sector funding.

First Look at Proposed Storm Barriers [NY1]

01/08/14 3:00pm

fort-tilden-cleanup

The Rockawayist took a trip to Fort Tilden, where beach access and pathways have been closed off since Hurricane Sandy. There’s some good news, though: A cleanup is under way. Here’s the latest report from the Rockawayist:

The trails of Battery Harris East and Battery Harris West have been completely cleared of debris. And although those old Nike missile installations have been recently repainted, Battery Harris East has been claimed anew by graffiti tags. The stairs leading to the viewing platform atop Battery Harris East are still fully functional, offering stunning views of the ocean, Jamaica Bay and the Manhattan skyline. The park is still dotted with a number of abandoned buildings, which seem largely undamaged by the storm. And they continue to be a unique canvas for graffiti.

The concrete path along Shore Road, badly torn up by the storm, still remains a mess. Check out this awesome Flickr account of the whole area. The city’s goal is to reopen the park for the summer of this year.

The Ruins of Fort Tilden [Rockawayist]

Photo by the rockawayist

12/02/13 3:00pm

howard-beach-sandy

Over the holiday weekend, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a major initiative for post Sandy improvements in Howard Beach. New York Daily News says that feds approved a $50,000,000 project (funded by federal recovery funds) to “develop sand dunes, salt marshes and other vegetation along a section of the Queens coastline in a bid to keep floodwaters from reaching businesses and homes.” These improvements are slated for a 150-acre tract along Spring Creek and Jamaica Bay. Engineering studies and design work will start up in 2014, and construction is only expected to take a year. When Sandy hit more than one year ago, a total of 3,000 homes in the Howard Beach area suffered serious damage.

Cuomo Announces $50M Project To Protect Sandy-Battered Queens Coast from Storms [NY Daily News]

Photo by Pam_Andrade

11/22/13 9:00am

arverne-view

This is our final installment of a three part series on Arverne View, a housing complex in the Far Rockaways. When Hurricane Sandy hit, L+M Development Partners was in contract to purchase the complex. They closed when the development, then called Ocean Village, had no power whatsoever. In the year since, the company undertook a massive renovation project that addressed the building problems before Sandy, as well as the many concerns of building resiliency after Sandy hit. In Part One, we detailed the extent of the renovation. In Part Two, we toured just about every corner of the complex, which is still under construction. For Part Three, we talk with three residents who live here now. Belinda Cook, a Rockaways resident for years, came to Arverne View after being displaced from her home by Sandy. That’s the same story for Mirian Herrera, who spent six months in a hotel after being displaced by the storm. Finally, we talked to Lola Vaughn, who has lived in the same apartment at the complex since 1987. Read their stories, after the jump.

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11/18/13 9:00am

laguardia-flooding

Andrew Cuomo announced that LaGuardia Airport will receive about $37,000,000 for five different projects that protect against flooding, CBS reports. Hurricane Sandy flooded the airport with 100 million gallons of seawater, closing it for three days and canceling a total of 3,300 flights. The money will go toward projects like installing flood barrier berms, concrete floodwalls and gravity drains, replacing generators and rehabbing the airport’s power distribution grid. The majority of funding — about $28,000,000 — will come from a disaster mitigation and recovery award from the federal government.

LaGuardia Airport To Get $37M In Anti-Flood Aid [CBS]

Photo via blog.jetblue.com

10/29/13 10:30am

food-bank-for-nyc

Today the Food Bank for New York is holding the Far Rockaway NY Rising Conference, a neighborhood event that features a wide range of presentations focused on “remembering, recognizing and rising” one year after Hurricane Sandy. Until 4pm at the Community Church of the Nazarene (1414 Central Avenue) local pols, city representatives, Red Cross reps and Food Bank for New York reps will be on hand to discuss the critical role of food preparedness during events like Sandy. Food Bank for New York will also unveil two mobile disaster response centers which it purchased with support from the American Red Cross. The centers will be used to conduct benefits outreach, including SNAP screenings and free tax preparation, in the hardest-hit areas. The units also have built-in satellites and telecommunications capability. The Food Bank will send the mobile units on the road this month.

Then, this evening at 6:30pm, Councilman Donovan Richards is hosting the “Sandy: One Year Later” panel and community discussion at the Queens Library at Far Rockaway. City and community representatives will give brief updates on the work that they have been doing around the Rockaways. That will be followed by a community discussion on the recovery effort. All the event details are here. Also this evening at 7:30pm, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn will hold a commemoration and healing Mass at St. Mary Star of the Sea (1920 New Haven Avenue), also in the Far Rockaways. Details on that here.

Photo via Foodbanknyc.org